Structure, alteration, and geochemistry of the Charlotte quartz vein stockwork, Mt Charlotte gold mine, Kalgoorlie, Australia: time constraints, down-plunge zonation, and fluid source

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    Abstract

    © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.The Kalgoorlie district in the Archean Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia, comprises two world-class gold deposits: Mt Charlotte (144 t Au produced to 2013) in the northwest and the Golden Mile (1,670 t Au) in the southeast. Both occur in a folded greenschist-facies gabbro sill adjacent to the Golden Mile Fault (D2) in propylitic alteration associated with porphyry dikes. At Mt Charlotte, a shear array of fault-fill veins within the Golden Mile Fault indicates sinistral strike-slip during Golden Mile-type pyrite–telluride mineralization. The pipe-shaped Charlotte quartz vein stockwork, mined in bulk more than 1 km down plunge, is separated in time by barren D3 thrusts from Golden Mile mineralization and alteration, and occurs between two dextral strike-slip faults (D4). Movement on these faults generated an organized network of extension and shear fractures opened during the subsequent infiltration of high-pressure H2S-rich fluid at 2,655 ± 13 Ma (U–Pb xenotime). Gold was deposited during wall rock sulphidation in overlapping vein selvages zoned from deep albite–pyrrhotite (3 g/t Au) to upper muscovite–pyrite assemblages (5 g/t Au bulk grade). Chlorite and fluid inclusion thermometry indicate that this kilometre-scale zonation is due to fluid cooling from 410–440 °C at the base to 350–360 °C at the top of the orebody, while the greenstone terrane remained at 250 °C ambient temperature and at 300 MPa lithostatic pressure. The opened fractures filled with barren quartz and scheelite during the retrograde stage (300 °C) of the hydrothermal event. During fracture sealing, fluid flux was periodically restricted at the lower D3 thrust. Cycles of high and low up-flow, represented by juvenile H2O–CO2 and evolved H2O–CO2–CH4 fluid, respectively, are recorded by the REE and Sr isotope compositions of scheelite oscillatory zones. The temperature gradient measured in the vein stockwork points to a hot (>600 °C) fluid so
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberdoi 10.1007/s00126-014-0527-2
    Pages (from-to)221-244
    Number of pages24
    JournalMineralium Deposita
    Volume50
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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